In 2022, Qatar will become the world’s first Arab country to host the World Cup. The Qatar 2022 World Cup bid committee, headed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, said that bringing the World Cup to Qatar would improve relationships between the West and the Middle East. Fifa President Sepp Blatter said that “the Arabic world deserves a World Cup” as it has 22 countries and has not had any opportunity to host the World Cup so far. However, Fifa’s decision to permit Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup is embroiled in controversies.
Testifying before a parliamentary inquiry committee in UK in May 2011, Lord Triesman of the English Football Association alleged that Fifa committee members Jack Warner and Nicolas Leoz demanded $4 million and honorary knighthood, respectively, in exchange for their votes. Besides, two reporters from Sunday Times testified that they had received information about members Jacques Anouma and Issa Hayatou each receiving $1.5 million to vote in favor of the Qatar bid. These allegations forced Fifa to order an internal probe into the issue. If the allegations are proved right, another vote might be held on the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid.
When it was pointed out to Qatari officials that it could get as hot as 50 degrees Celsius during the World Cup season, they said that they have all the cooling technology required to bring the temperature down to 25 degrees Celsius within the stadium. However, these cooling technologies have never been tested for efficacy in large stadia and Qatar cannot guarantee that it will keep things cool enough during the sweltering heat.
Blatter’s Insensitive LGBT Remark
Fifta’s acceptance of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid was also questioned because homosexuality is a crime in Qatar. Blatter was severely criticized for saying, “I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 5, John Amaechi, a gay athlete and former basketball star, referred to Blatter’s remark as “absurd” and said that the issue is not about getting a sanction to have sex, but about “the fact that Qatar was one of 79 countries to sanction executing gays at the United Nations.”
This isn’t all. In early 2013, The Guardian reported about Qatari construction companies, commissioned to construct structures for the 2022 World Cup, hiring Nepalese laborers, forcing them to work under unsafe conditions, and preventing them from leaving by holding their work permits and passports.
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